What are your legal rights?
Here are some statements and myths our customers have made to us:
Myth: “I’ve been told I can’t be evicted”
Once you have been to court a possession order is granted due to non payment of rent then Greatwell Homes may apply for a warrant to evict. If this warrant is executed then you will be evicted. You have the right to appeal any such application, but will need to be able to demonstrate you can pay your rent and address your arrears (don’t let this be you – talk to us as soon as possible)
Myth: I’ve been told because I have children I can’t be evicted
As stated above if you have had a court order granted against you, not made payments as set out by the judge and warrant has been applied for and executed then all members of the household including your children will be evicted. Talk to us at the earliest opportunity
Myth: I will be rehoused after my eviction for rent arrears
It can be difficult to find somewhere new to live if you’re evicted or owe rent at a previous address. The council may class you as intentionally homeless meaning you will not get rehoused.
Myth: I don’t need to pay when I have rent free weeks
Rent advantage weeks, which some may refer to as ‘rent free weeks’, are to give customers the chance to catch up with arrears or get ahead of their rent. It is not to allow for customers to avoid paying their rent.
Myth: Income Recovery Officers are debt collectors.
Advising you when your rent account is in arrears is one of the main duties of an Income Recovery Officer. While we may contact you to recover any arrears, we are not debt collectors. We offer support to customers who are in financial difficulty and will always do the most to avoid court action. Evictions are not in our best interest, we want you to stay in your home.
Myth: Other people have more rent arrears than me.
We cannot discuss anyone else’s account, however, we ensure that all accounts in arrears have appropriate action taken to secure repayment.
Myth: I won’t be asked to attend a court hearing for a few hundred pounds.
Persistent non-payment of rent payments can result in a court application even if the arrears are relatively low.
Myth: I can’t claim Universal Credit because I have four children.
From January 2019 all households where the tenant(s) is of working age can now make a claim. If you need to make a new benefit claim you will have to apply for Universal Credit – if you currently receive Housing Benefit and receive a suspension letter – provide the details the Local Authority asks for as soon as possible to avoid your claim being cancelled – if this happens you will have to apply for Universal Credit – which means no benefit payments for at least 5 weeks whilst your claim is being processed.
Myth: I’ve decided to leave the property, so I do not need to pay any rent during my notice period.
When you have informed us that you wish to end your tenancy, you must give us 4 weeks’ notice. Although you have decided to leave the property you are still legally liable to pay your rent during the notice period.
Myth: I do not pay rent; the Council pays it.
When you have a tenancy with us, you are legally liable to pay us rent. If you are entitled to housing benefit, then the Council will pay us what you are entitled to. This will not always cover all your rent. If you receive Universal Credit, then your housing costs may be included within what you receive – you will then need to make payments directly to us to cover all your rent.